LONDON: In a political development, Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib held a meeting with former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif in London and discussed the relations of two countries and regional situation.
The previous night, Afghanistan’s National Security Council’s Twitter account shared a picture of Mohib and Afghan State Minister for Peace Sayed Sadat Naderi meeting Nawaz in London, where the former prime minister has been staying since 2019, to “discuss matters of mutual interest”.
A press release issued by the National Security Council of Afghanistan said “Dr. Hamdullah Mohib, national security advisor of the Islamic Republic, and State Minister for Peace Sayed Sadat Naderi called on Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London to discuss matters of mutual interest”.
The statement further added that “both sides agreed that they would both benefit from the policy of mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and ‘strengthening democracy’ will put both neighbours on the path towards stability and prosperity.”
Afghan top advisor has been boycotted by incumbent Pakistani authorities in wake of his controversial remarks about Pakistan.
In the meanwhile, the meeting was held after a violent group of Afghan demonstrators attacked the office of the Pakistan High Commission in the British capital. The attacker not only created a ruckus outside the high commission but also roughed up the visitors.
Furthermore, Afghan officials repeatedly accused Pakistan of supporting the insurgents and preventing the Afghan forces from carrying out military operations.
The relations between the neighbouring countries took another hit after the episode of Silsila Alikhel, the daughter of the Afghan envoy to Pakistan who claimed abduction in the country’s federal capital on July 16.
Pakistani officials however dismissed her claims. It is a part of an international conspiracy against Pakistan, the country’s Interior Minister told a private news channel. Later, Kabul recalled its ambassador and senior diplomats from Pakistan, demanding punishment for those responsible. Pakistan Foreign Ministry called the act ‘unfortunate and regrettable’.
Soon after the meeting of PML-N supremo with controversial Afghan officials, ruling party leaders, geopolitical analysts, and social media users also reacted to the development.
Several ministers from the ruling PTI on Saturday strongly criticised PML-N supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for meeting Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib, saying it “proved his connections with Pakistan’s enemies”.
While commenting on the meeting, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said “this is why sending Nawaz Sharif abroad was dangerous because such people become a part of international plots.”
“Modi, Mohib or Amrullah Saleh (Afghan vice president) — every enemy of Pakistan is a close friend of Nawaz Sharif,” he tweeted.
Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari questioned what the “matters of mutual interest” were. “After Mohib referred to Pak — not PTI govt but [our] country — as a ‘brothel’, common RAW interest can only be to attack Pak,” she said, adding “such shameless self-interest of Sharif to preserve looted wealth & country be damned.”
“Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with Afghan NSA proves his connections with Pakistan’s enemies,” claimed state minister Shehryar Afridi. The meeting had proved that the former prime minister was a “tool to be used against Pakistani interests”, he said.
Afridi said that Nawaz’s statements had already been “used” by India at international forums.
Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz termed the meeting as “nothing new”, saying Nawaz had “always kept company with enemies of Pakistan, be it (steel tycoon Sajjan) Jindal or Modi”.